My king, I want you to know something. Something that I always admired most about you. No matter how violent the storm, no matter how high the waves, no matter how dark the night, you never let the world get inside of your boat. You kept living when everyone else was sinking, and this whole life never got a droplet toward pulling you down to the ocean floor.
Admittedly, this last bottle has room enough for the last of my heart because I drank the last of it, myself. Hated it, by the way. Seems my father could have picked a vice that tasted better than rubbing alcohol, but hey, he gave me his last flask when he came downstairs to say that he wanted things to have been different, and I believed him.
He said he needed to go down with the ship, but he wished that I didn't, and I believed him.
Listen, the want to die is no longer a foreign thought in my mind. A lot of people want to.
And I could have died without leaving a note behind. A lot of people do.
He started slurring about a memory that he must have caught in the musty air, like a dust particle stuck to the glaze over his eyes. "When you were six years old, I stood inside our home, at a windowsill, and watched you walk back from that boy's house, down the street. I was sick, and went back to bed before I thought you saw me, and when I heard you call out, "Daddy?" I pretended to be asleep. I just didn't have the energy to get up and keep you from believing in the ghosts that you've seen ever since…"
He finally fixed his gaze, afraid, and said, "Honey, they've been haunting me, but I hope you don't have to see them any longer."
I believe him.
If I can give you anything, let it be that I have not bid my farewell from the ocean, but from the moment I waved goodnight after our first victory as body-painted newlyweds in a cul-de-sac colony, looking forward to morning, when our parents would let us sail through the quiet, neighborhood streets, and the dawn would bring us back together again. We were cowboys or we were indians or we were pilgrims, and none of us ever cared that cowboys didn't come here from England, we were just making our pilgrimage toward the sun, searching for freedom and rewriting history for everyone, but mostly us.
Baby, I'm still playing our game. I'm just sailing for the new world alone this time.
I wish I could come back to tell you what I find, but life has never consulted me before making all of these big decisions, and I stand helpless and hopeless unless the beauty you see in the mystery really points to something.
I wish we could explore this together.
Let me tell you, to die will be an awfully big adventure, but don't get lost, boy. I want to talk to one another about it, someday.
It's time to say goodbye. Such a definite word. An infinite word. An intimate word, but it needs to be heard so that you don't have to wonder why the bottles stopped coming.
You need closure to move on.
You can't sink with me.
You'll get this after I'm gone.
And I hope that you can use our tree house to love someone else once the tide has finally set you free. But don't tell her who you built it for. Make her believe that she's the reason you put all those hours into protecting the purity of that place. I think that, eventually, you'll believe it, too. I truly do not know whether time heals all wounds. It sounds like wishful thinking, but I do know that you can't stop living just because someone else has.
My love, don't sink. Don't sink.
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